Prom is time to exercise caution

Published 10:48 am Monday, March 31, 2008

By Staff
It's prom season, and that's just one more thing to make me realize how old I'm getting.
Friday at W.S. Neal High School, students were witness to a staged automobile accident that injured three students, killed one and saw two more arrested.
Following the mock accident those same students were able to see how paramedics, police officers, firefighters and other rescue personnel react to such a situation.
I can remember, way back in the day, when I went to my proms, going out of town following the lead-out wasn't considered.
We stayed at the gym after being paraded in front of family and friends in our finest dresses, tuxedos and fancy shoes. We danced to the music of a band that had been hired for the occasion.
I also remember there was a breakfast hosted by a group of parents after the festivities. Even with all the parading, dancing and general celebration of the evening, it never crossed my mind to go to the beach or other distant location.
Why this activity has become a common thing among students these days is still a mystery to me.
After all of the time spent decorating for lead-out and the dance, after all of the money has been raised to pay for those decorations, after all of the time spent preparing for the event and even after all of the money parents spend on dresses, shoes, hair-dos, tuxedos, suits, flowers and even limo rides, students still leave town.
I recall working nights for a week in our high school gymnasium decorating with glitter, crepe paper streamers and other sundry items to transform the space from a basketball court to the streets of Paris or some other exotic place.
I couldn't imagine spending that time, effort and money to prepare for a four-hour event and stay for 30 minutes. Things have changed.
I have heard, just last year as a matter of fact, there were some students who were distraught because their parents put down their foot by forbidding them to leave town. Hooray for them. Those teens will get over the fact they weren't allowed to go to the beach. The sun will come up tomorrow and the world will go on turning even though they didn't show up on some beach or in some bowling alley an hour's drive away.
Those parents may have to put up with silence, dirty looks, rolling eyes and even a few harsh words from the children they have “ruined for life” by keeping them in Brewton. But they will also live with the fact that their children are safe for another day.
W.S. Neal's high school prom was held Saturday night. T.R. Miller's prom is set for April 5.
I saw the W.S. Neal decorations, and they were beautiful. I know that sponsors for the prom also provided a wonderful dinner for the students to enjoy afterwards.
I hope I get a chance to see the decorations for the T.R. Miller prom, and I'm sure there are parents who are preparing for a feast before and after that event.
I hope that the mock-accident on Friday at W.S. Neal gave those students something to think about. I hope students at T.R. Miller will also consider the consequences of their actions on prom night.
My hope now is that I'll be taking pictures of all of those students at graduation and beyond.
If those students stay safe, they too may remember their prom someday and wonder how they got so old.
Lisa Tindell is the news editor for The Brewton Standard. She can be reached by e-mail at

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